For the longest time, small business coaching has been relegated to corporate C-suite and the senior management team of privately owned businesses. The entire concept of business coaching has centred around making management better administrators by providing them professional coaching in lieu of on-the-job training or additional education.
That model of small business coaching has worked well for years, but there is a new drive on to expand coaching outside the offices of senior management. Companies are gradually abandoning the old ways of employee training and performance assessments in favour of creating what is now known as a ‘coaching culture’ within the workplace.
A coaching culture is essentially an environment built on a style of managing and working with a goal of, and commitment to, growing an organisation and its people in parallel. In simple terms, a coaching culture does not measure the success of the company and its employees separately. Both are developed simultaneously; both are measured simultaneously.
Creating Your Coaching Culture
Business coaches like myself have long understood the benefits of personalised coaching over impersonal performance reviews and objective standards. Our industry has come to realise that moving coaching out of the boardroom and into the general working population does far more for a company’s development than the old ways.
The lesson for you and your company should be quite clear. If your organisation does not yet employ a coaching culture, now is the time to change that. Developing a coaching culture could be the very thing that takes your company to the next level and beyond.
So how is it done? There are seven basic steps I would be happy to discuss with your management team whenever you are ready to develop a coaching culture:
1. Assess the current company culture.
2.Measure resistance to change among employees.
3.Select a small business coaching partner.
4.Direct that partner to develop internal coaches.
5.Expand leadership capacity as coaches emerge.
6.Modify policies and procedures to accommodate coaching.
7.Evaluate the results of the first round of coaching before moving to the second.
Once a culture of coaching has been established, it takes on a life of its own. It becomes a perpetual and self-feeding enterprise as coaching develops more leaders who then go on to recruit others they can coach. A properly implemented coaching culture can continue in perpetuity.
New Doesn’t Always Mean Bad
One of the points to focus on from the above seven steps is resistance to change. Unfortunately, such resistance is common in the modern business environment. People get comfortable doing things the way they’ve always done them, and they see any sort of proposed change as upsetting to the routine.
The key component of a successful coaching culture is to continually remind employees that new does not necessarily mean bad. Just because your company is planning changes does not mean those changes will result in negative consequences. In fact, just the opposite is true with small business coaching.
By Peter Smith.
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